Would it be a fair statement that for some of us followers of Jesus (for many of us?) we might tend towards assuming God? After all, God is a given. If we didn’t believe in God we wouldn’t be following His Son, reading His word, or trying to discern His will. If we didn’t believe in God we wouldn’t trust, we wouldn’t have hope, we wouldn’t be mindful of storing up treasures in heaven. Yeah, we believe in God. So, let’s move on and figure out how to live for God. Do you think that some (many?) might assume God? Hmm . . . I’m wondering.
What sparked the question? Something I read in Colossians this a.m.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
(Colossians 1:9-10 ESV)
There it is, in verse 9–what tends to be our focus, and rightly so–be filled with the knowledge of His will and walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. That’s what we want to do.
But what caught my attention this morning is what Paul specifically lists as evidence of a worthy walk. I’m not saying it’s a comprehensive list, but I am saying that whatever a worthy walk looks like, Paul’s given us at least three indicators in verse 10. A worthy walk is:
- A walk that is fully pleasing to Him
- A walk that bears fruit in every good work
- A walk that increases our knowledge of God
Chew on that last one–increasing in the knowledge of God. I am.
If a worthy walk is a knowledge-increasing walk (and I don’t think the original word is about “experiential knowledge” as much as it is about “precise and correct knowledge”, of “divine knowledge” or, “knowledge of the divine”), then what do we miss, what do we leave on the table, when we assume God? When we read our Bibles and skim past the familiar “theological stuff” so we can get to the “what’s it mean for me” practical stuff? When the notes we take during the sermon are the points of application and not the details of magnification? We’re leaving a lot on the table. Dare I say, we’re in danger of hamstringing the “worthy walk” a bit?
Assume God? Think we know all we need to know? Worse yet, think we know all there is to know? Of course not. Ridiculous. But really, what’s our thirst level for increasing in the knowledge of God — not just experiencing God, but knowing the essence, nature, character, and mind of God, as much as He’s been pleased to reveal it to us? Isn’t that, after all, what eternal life is all about at it’s core? I’m thinkin’ . . .
And this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” ~ Jesus
(John 17:3 ESV)
As is our measure of thirst, so will be the measure of living water supplied to satisfy that thirst. A perpetual thirst? A perpetual increasing in the knowledge of God.
Oh, to walk in a manner worthy of Jesus. To be fully pleasing to Him. To bear fruit in every good work. To increase in our knowledge of God.
Only by His grace. Always for His glory.